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Monday, September 27, 1999 We had a pretty quiet weekend. We went for a drive Saturday, we were gone for six hours. Went through mountains and even stopped, got out of the truck and took pictures. Brian used his new binoculars, trying to see if he could locate Ranchita from Mt. Laguna. He did. I took a picture of the Salton Sea, but Brian said it wasn't going to show up very well, because of the brown haze above it. We finally bought a year pass for the parks. Here in Southern California, in some of the forests, you aren't supposed to park your vehicle unless you've bought a pass. Eighty percent of the funds go back into helping maintain the parks. So, I didn't mind taking the little walk we did. My dad was a Shriner and we used to go to the Al Bahr Shrine Camp a lot. Of course, as I got older and got my own life, I didn't go. But while I lived at home with mom and dad, I was expected to. So, I did a lot of exploring and found this really neat little trail with a great view of the desert. That's where Brian and I walked Saturday. It was really nice. At one spot, I asked Brian if he thought that water ran down after a rain. He said yes, and that we should come up while it's raining sometime and just walk around. I think that would be a lot of fun, not just riding in the rain, but walking in it and getting wet.

When we got home, I got all of the film and took it down to the local developer place, the same place I took my camera. I think I'll be having my film developed there from now on. I really like the service and I know that they've done a better job on the prints than Long's or CostCo had. They do them right there in the store. Last Friday, I took a partial roll in to them to develop, just to make sure the new old camera worked properly. I asked them about getting the old camera fixed and they said they send them out to be fixed. When I went in to pick up the pictures, I took the broken camera with me. Hopefully, they'll be able to find a replacement piece for the broken part. And the sample pictures I took with the *new* camera turned out great. Yay!!

Friday, I thought about our lifestyle and I told Brian that we live like fat people. We eat like fat people, we are inactive like fat people and we think like fat people (Brian's always asking "when/what's for lunch/dinner/dessert"). So, we're going to try to change that. It certainly can't hurt. Last night we had popcorn with warmed up honey mixed with melted butter drizzled over it for dessert. I'm sure that it's not the best thing in the world, but it's better than ice cream and it took care of the sweet tooth. And I'm going to train myself to get that picture in my mind of the zipper on my jeans not going up. How it looks and feels. And then to imagine how nice it would be to have the zipper go right up, and how nice it would be to be in a smaller size. Then think again about how much I want that candybar/donut/ice cream sundae. Hopefully, this picture transference will do the trick.

We changed Jackie's name. He isn't Black Jackie anymore, he's Jackie Blackieson. Get it? Blackie's son? Brian didn't really think to much of it the first time I said it, but when he had said it himself a couple of times, he got into it. Oh, what a sweetheart he's becoming. He's starting to understand "no, that hurts" when he's playing with my hand. And he's much better at playing with retracted claws. He got up on the couch with me last night and laid next to me.

Red did something for the first time this morning. He came up to me, rubbed against my legs, and stood there when I reached down and petted him. He usually runs when I go to touch him, unless we're head to head for beginners. He purred and just stood there with his eyes closed while my nails scratched the top of his head.

And Lonee let me pet her with the zoom groom last night. She and Red have the weirdest shed pattern I've ever seen. Both shorthairs, they still have bunches of old fur on their sides. I got quite a bit off of her with the glove and you should have heard her talking to me. Her little eyes closed and she trilled and chirped and gently meowed as I ran my gloved hand down her back, taking loose fur with it. Oh, she's so sweet when she wants to be.

I have to get to the store and get batteries changed in our watches and get the pictures picked up. The weather is being very cooperative and I'm doing my best to get some sun before we go to Disneyland. If it's warm and I have to wear shorts, well, I don't want white whale legs. I feel better when they have some color to them.


Tuesday, September 28, 1999 I'm still recuperating from yesterday. Boy, and what a day it was.

I haven't gotten a battery in any of my many watches in years and decided yesterday morning, that I would get some of them replaced. I took all of my watches and laid them on the kitchen counter. Brian said "you're not replacing batteries in all of those right now, are you?" I know he's thinking about money. Work's really slow right now. So, I choose the ones I really want batteries in. There's a Goofy watch that runs backwards, a Mickey Mouse watch that plays two songs (the Mickey Mouse March and It's A Small World), a Minnie Mouse watch, another Mickey Mouse watch with a laser face (the kind that catch the light, depending on how you are looking at it), Brian's Mickey Mouse pocket watch and my Mickey Mouse chiming watch. The one that has an alarm and you can have it chime the hour. And my everyday Indiglo, the one with the silver and gold colored band. This I will do this morning. And I also need to pick up the pictures I took this weekend. I'm sure they are finished.

I take my shower, dress, put all of the watches on my arm (cute) and off I go. I went to Target first, because they've installed batteries for me before. The woman behind the counter doesn't look very helpful, a surprise because they usually are. "We don't install batteries any longer" she tells me. I'm skeptical, I think she could if she wanted to, but she obviously doesn't want to. I had a big can of flavored popcorn (I bought it for the canister, it has a black kitten, looks like Jackie, in a field of candy corn) and I bought that, got a bag for all of my clocks. Hmmm... What to do now. I know I have to go get the pictures, but I would like to get these clocks running. I get in the truck and go to a little watch shop down the road, a place where I've taken my watches before for battery installation. I back the truck into a parking spot, lock it up and go up to the door. The door to the shop is locked. Hmmm. It's a security screen and the inner door still has the sign on it. Well, this is a bust, I may as well go get the pictures, maybe they know of someplace.

Down into Lakeside I go, leaving El Cajon. I pull into the parking lot, I can't believe how inconsiderate other drivers are. I park the truck, get out, lock it and go in to get the pictures. I look at some, hey, this is cool!! Look what was on one of the rolls...

Pretty cool. I thought I lost the possom in the roll I ruined. And the other pictures turned out good, I'm pleased with them. Now, all I need to do is to get hot on working on the postcard page again. After all, that's why I take them. Halloween cards are next on the agenda. Anyway, I asked if they knew of a place I could get the batteries installed. They suggested Rite Aid, but one of the clerks said "No, RiteAid sends people to us". The owner of the shop said she goes to a place in La Mesa to have hers done. Geez, I think, La Mesa. Do I really feel like driving there right now? I decide I would rather come home and drain my bladder first. So, home I go. I leave the truck unlocked and go inside. I'm changing what I thought. Maybe I'll just go tomorrow, no, you want to do it today, so you can lay in the sun tomorrow, yeah, but I really don't feel like going now. I open the photo boxes and start looking at the pictures more closely. Aw, look, you can see Jackie's wings!!

I look at the clock and figure, what the hell. It's later than I had planned on getting into the sun, so why don't I do the batteries today. I decide that before I do anymore running around I'll check the phone directory. I call another shop in El Cajon, yes, they install batteries. She tells me where they are located. I get up, get my shoes on and out the door I go. I turn on First and go down to Broadway, oh, there it is, the Yogurt Mill. The watch place is to the left of the Yogurt Mill. I make a left turn at the light and pull into the lot next to the yogurt building and look at the storefronts. Ah, there it is, the clock repair shop. I get out of the truck, bag with watches in hand, lock the truck and go inside the shop. An older woman comes out of the back, this must be the woman I talked to. I open my back of watches and dump them on the counter. "I'm here!!" I exclaim proudly, "I would have known exactly where you were if you had told me that you were by Red Wing Shoe store." She looks confused. "I need batteries installed in these watches, I just called" I say, to remind her. "No, you didn't call here, we don't install batteries, we fix clocks." I look around. Yep, there's a bunch of old clocks on shelves and hanging on the walls. *sigh* Geez, I must be in the wrong place. "Sorry," I say, gathering up my watches and placing them in the bag. I go out to the truck, unlock the door, get in. I sit there, frustrated. I look to my left, this street is filled with strip malls. I see the Discount Tire store and I vaguely recall that being mentioned in the phone conversation. I start up the truck and drive down that way, checking the numbers on the buildings. I do remember the number of the store, just not the name. There it is. Good deal. Finally.

I park it, get out and lock it. I take my watches in. There's the sign, batteries and installation $5.00. It's about time. I dump the watches out. The woman takes four of the watches, the man, three. They install quickly. They were amazed at the musical Mickey Mouse watch and intrigued with the face of the laser face watch. She shook her head at the backwards Goofy. They set all of the watches, with the exception of the chiming Mickey. I forgot how, but I could figure it out, I say to them. If I can't, I'll just pull the stem out and stop the watch and restart it when it's time. I go home, pleased. I have the chiming Mickey in my hand, fooling with the buttons. I can't seem to get it down. I'll check on the internet.

When I get home, that's exactly what I do. I send an email to a company that sells Lorus Mickey watches. I look for the directions here at home. I find them immediately. What a surprise. I email the company, saying never mind. I follow the instructions. Can you believe I broke the watch trying to set the time? The watch has three Mickey faces on it, one to go with each setting. When it's set for time only, the Mickey face is a normal face. When the watch is set for chime, the Mickey face is smiling. When it's set for the alarm function, Mickey looks like he's being goosed. The watch is still telling time and chiming, but the face and the settings aren't showing up. And since I don't have a clue which mode I'm in, I can't set it. I take the watch apart to see if it's something simple. It isn't. I look on the website again, to find out how to get these things fixed. You send them to Texas. I don't think I want to do that. I call the jewelry shop where they installed the batteries. They don't fix watches there, they send them out to be done. Well, if I have to have it sent out, I might as well send it to the manufacturer. I pull the website up again, and print out the information. I write out a check for $7.50 to Lorus...ooops, should be TKC. I void the check. I write another one. I look at the clock, spit, it's twenty to five, the post office closes soon. I hastily scribble my name and phone number on the back of one of the printed out sheets. I know they'll need to let me know how much repair will cost, so that I can make the payment. I figure, my address is on my check. I can't find my sandles anywhere dammitdammitdammit!! I get some old dusty ones on, grab the keys, my purse, the watch and I'm out the door. Oh, spit!! I forgot the address I'm mailing to. I go back inside. It's a quarter til five. Oh, the hell with it, I think, I'll do this tomorrow. But I don't want to leave the house tomorrow. I hate this. I see my sandles. I put them on, grab the address and back out I go. It's ten til. I make the first two lights green. Then I hit the big intersection. I have to make a right hand turn. I'm watching the clock. The seconds tick by, another minute has passed. The light had just changed when I got there. The people on the cross street go. Tick tick tick, my eyes keep glancing at the dashboard clock...their light changes, the cars across the street, coming from the freeway, make their left turns onto the street where I should be right now....there are so many of them, they just keep coming, won't they ever stop. Doesn't this light ever change? I think to myself. I look at the clock again. Less than three minutes til five. I'm not going to make it, I just know I'm not going to make it. The light changes, it's our turn. I go down the street, making sure I'm in the correct lane.....right turn must turn right, I need to get over, I don't want to go right. I look at the clock again. Oh, please, please, let me make the last light green, please. I do. I get to the post office, park the truck and walk quickly inside. Just as I got there, the man locked the door. I heard the click. I knew I was pushing it too closely, I just knew it. I look at him, as sadly as possible. There are still people inside with the clerks. He looks at me. I push my bottom lip out, make a "I'm gonna cry" face. He shakes his head, opens the door. I smile big, thank him as I walk to the clerk. I tell him I need a mailer thingy. A what? A mailer thingy. I tell him that I write quick. I get the mail to and from addresses quickly filled in. He figures out the charges for the mailer, the postage and the insurance. We finish at the same time. My Mickey Mouse watch is on it's way to the factory. Boy, what a day that was.

Once home, I popped open the diet Pepsi I taken out of the frig before my trek. It's still cold. *grins*

I think I'll take it easy today.

Ciara has the poops again. She's just about the saddest little thing on earth when she isn't feeling well. Since Maggie was sleeping in the file folder box this morning, Ciara came over to me and climbed into my lap. She looks at me with those sad blue eyes and I just pet her and cuddle with her. She purrs. She sleeps. I can't move. Finally, Maggie left the file box and I put Ciara up in it. She's sleeping there now.

Looking at that picture reminds me....last weekend Brian and I were sitting out on the swing (that's what Ciara has her paws around, a swing leg) and I said "maybe we should get furniture for our new house like this swing. Cedar furniture. It would be pretty hard to ruin." And Brian said that it was a good idea. He wants to be able to pressure wash everything we own. LOL!! We can just have pads made for the chairs and we'll have a nice low maintenance home. Sounds good (if eccentric) to me.


Thursday, September 30, 1999 As Steely Dan once said: "Here come those Santa Ana winds again." Yup, it's that time of the year when the wind crosses the mountains in from the desert, heating up as it comes. Yesterday it got to 101. Today should be just as warm. I meant to lay in the sun most of the day yesterday, but I didn't get out until 3:30. I just kept finding something else I needed to do.

The first thing that happened yesterday, is that the Cat Fights!! messageboard was all messed up. I put out a cry for help on a help forum, explained what was happening and gave a link. I tried uploading a good version of the script, thinking that maybe something had become corrupted. But that didn't do it. Then I received an email, letting me know that the forum was way, way, way too big. It should only be 85-100K big. Mine was over 500. I deleted 80% of the messages and it works fine now. But Mike also suggested I put in a filelock option, which prevents two messages posted at the same time from having the same number. Yesterday, there were at least fifty messages with the same number. That won't happen any longer. Good.

Tuesday, I noticed that there were many, many hits to the cardshoppe. At first, I thought there was some sort of glitch in the counters, but I read my newsmail from the provider of the service (I pay by the year to provide you with cards, so USE THEM!! *grins*) and somebody had asked about postcards sites with cats. My site was the answer. So, that's where all of those hits were coming from. And yesterday, I figured I should add some more pictures, which I did. I added twenty four new ones.

The brat Jackie hissed at me last night. He sits by my side, waiting for me to hand him pieces of tuna. I bent my head down to him and he didn't like it. LOL!! He didn't go far, though. I still had tuna on my plate (we had salad).

Boy, last night I really, really wanted some ice cream. Thank goodness Brian was so strong. He said no. And his being cheap (sometimes) is a bonus. Because he can't see buying a pint for the same price as a half gallon and a half gallon is just too much to have in the house. Remember "Field of Dreams"? "If you build it, they will come?" Well, if we buy it, we will eat it. And that's a fact. You'll never, ever guess what we had. This is too weird. I said "maybe we should try whipped cream". Brian said "yeah, with chocolate sauce!!" And he got himself a small cup, filled it with whipped cream (the only reason we have the whipped cream is because at CostCo, when you buy it, you get three cans--I don't remember why we got it in the first place) and put Hershey's syrup in it. He said it was really good. I couldn't believe he did it. He gave me a bite (a *bite* of whipped cream?) and I liked it so much I went and got my own. He asked how I liked it and I said "needs ice cream". (save your work, don't forget!!)

If my father had taken better care of himself, and not died, he would have been 71 today. Happy birthday, dad, wherever you are. I broke your camera. Sorry. I'm trying to get it fixed.

I'm going to call on the watch today. I emailed them Tuesday, but never heard back. Darnit. I just called and she said that my watch has been discontinued and that they most likely won't be able to fix it. :-( That they won't be able to find the parts. They will clean it and maybe get it working that one, but she doesn't think they will be successful. Spit.

The cats can't make up their minds about the heat. Bart especially. He came in, went back out. Cried to get back in. Of course, I would get up and let him in. He could have come in the cat door, but he couldn't complain to me there. What always surprises me is that the long hairs like to be outside in this weather. Benny, Maggie and Ciara. And we don't worry about Ciara being out for any length of time anymore. Since she's recovered from her spay, she doesn't try to escape. That's a real nice thing.

I don't know how many of you know about this, but in San Jose, they are having a problem with somebody catching and mutilating pet cats, leaving the bodies in the owner's yards. It's been going on since May. So far, I believe there have been twenty three cats killed. If it were me, I would keep my cat inside, no questions asked. Well, yesterday, I received an email from a reporter for the San Jose Mercury. She wanted to ask about our fence. We had a nice long talk. She's going to use my net name when the story is printed. She said she wouldn't mention how many cats we had, because she didn't want people to think we were strange. I told her I didn't care what other people thought. And she thought about it and agreed, realizing that if people were responsible, we would only have one cat. Not anywhere close to the number we do have. We're cleaning up others' messes. Maybe not directly, but these cats certainly started in somebody's home. Somewhere back in their lineage, there are relatives who had humans who owned them. And didn't get their cats fixed. I feel really bad for those cats in San Jose. Who knows what terror they went through, before they were killed. I sure hope that they find the guy who is doing this and find him soon. Then throw the book at him, make it a big heavy one and aim at his head.

I'm trying to teach Jackie to "get mousie". He chases after it, plays with it, but after I take it away from him and throw it again a couple of times, takes mousie into the other room so I can't get it. *LOL!* He's a smart kitty. "My mousie!"

And Mickey just loves to help make the bed. His favorite part is when I tuck the spread under the pillows. He helps. He tries to push my hands. Problem is, he has claws, so I have to move fast before he catches me. Then, I grab him and smurgle his belly, laughing. It's a fun game.

Annie just loves her spot on the bed. I washed her pillow last week, which she liked. It's so funny, that this cat who stays behind the bed all day (well, she does come out and like Boney, likes the tub faucet to be on to a slow drip) will be so aggressive to any other cat that dare come close to her pillow while she's on it. Sometimes she waits for me to get into bed to get on the pillow, sometimes she's already there. She's so sweet.

Lola has been more playful. I rolled her up a couple of pipe cleaners last week and she spent the days in the kitchen, calling and pushing the cleaners under the throw rug or under the frig. She has so much fun doing this.

Brian wants me to look for ginseng online. What fun.

The mobile home park where my mom lives had a big yard sale last weekend. Mom picked up a couple of little cat statues for me and the cutest little fountain. It's a watering can with an outdoor faucet attached. When you plug it in, water circulates through the faucet. You adjust the power through the faucet handle. It splashes a lot, so we won't be able to use it inside. It will look great in the entry way, though.

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lisaviolet is fifty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

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